Inflammation is a response that occurs when the body’s immune system reacts to harmful stimuli, such as injuries, infections, toxins, or tissue damage. It is a part of the body’s defense mechanism, to protect itself against invaders. Inflammation can be acute or chronic; Acute inflammation is a short-term response to an injury or infection. The purpose is to quickly eliminate threats, clear damaged tissue, and initiate the healing process. On the other hand, Chronic inflammation is a prolonged immune response that can persist for months or years, chronic inflammation is associated with chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and cancers. Here are 7 foods that can help fight inflammation.
- Berries; Blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and other berries are rich in antioxidants like anthocyanin and quercetin, which can help reduce oxidative stress in the body, which in turn can lower inflammation. Studies also show that berries may be especially helpful for reducing the inflammation linked to heart disease risk.
- Turmeric; turmeric contains curcumin, a potent anti-inflammatory compound. Curcumin can block NF-KB, a molecule that activates genes related to inflammation, it also has antioxidant properties, which can further reduce inflammation by neutralizing oxidative stress.
- Greens; leafy greens such as spinach, and kale provide a range of vitamins, including A, C, and K, along with minerals like calcium and magnesium. These nutrients have anti-inflammatory properties and support the body’s natural defense against inflammation.
- Nuts; nuts such as walnuts and almonds are high in healthy fats, particularly monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, they also contain antioxidants like vitamin E which combat oxidative stress and inflammation. Also, the fiber in nuts can help regulate inflammation.
- Fish; fatty fish such as salmon and mackerel are excellent sources of omega-3 fatty acids specifically EPA and DHA, these fatty acids have been shown to decrease inflammation by reducing the production of inflammatory compounds such as cytokines and promoting the synthesis of anti-inflammatory molecules in the body.
- Ginger; ginger contains gingerol, a bioactive compound with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, gingerol can inhibit the production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and reduce oxidative stress, thereby reducing inflammation.
- Olive Oil; extra virgin oil is a source of monounsaturated fats, particularly oleic acid, it also contains antioxidants like oleocanthal, which function similarly to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in reducing inflammation.
Inflammation can be good or bad, it can help your body defend itself from infection and injury or it (chronic inflammation) can lead to disease. it is important that when eating these foods to fight against inflammation, a well-balanced diet is maintained. It is also essential to limit your consumption of food that can promote inflammation to support your overall health.